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Spotlight on Artbarn's Out of the Box Program

Artbarn Community Theater is entering our tenth year of operations, providing quality family entertainment with twelve main stage productions each year. Our season of shows integrates Broadway favorites with classics from literature alongside original shows that we write that deal with themes of character and making the world a better place. Artbarn rehearses in Coolidge Corner and performs our shows at the Maliotis Cultural Center at Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Artbarn is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community theater arts program for children and youth from pre-school through high school. Artbarn provides a warm and creative after-school program where children and youth of all backgrounds can make friends, experience a creative process, and learn skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Students at every age level are active participants in all aspects of the production experience. They perform on-stage acting, singing and dancing, and also work behind-the-scenes on script ideas, writing, scenery, costume design and publicity. High school internships allow older students to earn community service hours while they gain valuable job experience teaching theater arts. Student interns provide wonderful role models and mentors for the younger children.

Artbarn's mission is to support students working together in the performing arts and foster creativity, self-esteem and social confidence.

More than 2,250 children ages 4 to 14 have taken Artbarn classes during its first nine years of operation. Students include publicly, privately and home-schooled children from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. The Artbarn staff has multiple years of training and experience in child development and the performing arts, experience which ensures that the child's experience is developmentally appropriate and educationally based. No child has been turned away for lack of funds, and Artbarn has successfully integrated children with disabilities into its productions. Together, the children have produced 110 shows with a total of 220 performances. Approximately 18,500 parents, siblings, relatives, friends and area residents from Brookline, Jamaica Plain, and Greater Boston have attended the productions. Based on these early successes, Artbarn has also expanded its programming to include adults in their own production troupe, the Party Animals.

Artbarn has expanded beyond its walls, launching a community service component to its programming. Artbarn now takes traveling troupes "on the road" to the Brookline Public Library, the Senior Center, area nursing homes, homework clubs and after-school programs.

Each Fall Artbarn brings theater arts to the Brookline Elementary Schools by offering in-house productions designed to integrate theater arts with the K-6 curriculum. Using storytelling, improvisation, role-play and musical comedy, our shows challenge the student actors and their young audiences to deal with important issues like bullying, voter apathy, historic hometown heroes and kid empowerment.

In nine years, Artbarn has grown into a well-known, loved and respected community resource with quality professional staff, a loyal following and a dedicated management team. Artbarn provides innovative theater, developmentally sound programs, and fun for children, adolescents, adults, their families, the schools and the broader community.

Matthew Kossack, Artistic Director, has been acting, directing and choreographing throughout the Boston area since graduating from Boston College in 2004. With young actors he has worked with The Performing Arts Connection in Sudbury, Arlington Center for the Arts, Creative Arts camp at Tufts University, and Bishop Elementary in Arlington. He now serves as Artistic Director of Artbarn Community Theater in Brookline.

Jacquelyn Borck is Executive Director of Artbarn Community Theater which is now entering its tenth year of operations. Artbarn produces twelve shows each season with a focus on creating a mix of Broadway favorites, literary classics and original musical theater for students in grades K-8. This year Jacquelyn penned "Robin Hood" and co-authored "The Comic Book Kid to the Rescue" and "The Vortex". Jacquelyn graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in French Literature and Fine Arts and Emerson College with a MA in Performing Arts and Theater Education.

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